Seven Things Your Business’s Website Must Have

1 – Your Own Domain Name
Some free website hosting services, such as geocities and tripod, will provide you with a free domain name that is an extension of their domain. Any business that hopes to have a professional internet presence should purchase its own domain name. They can be purchased from GoDaddy.com for less than $20 per year.

The most effective domain names are easy to remember and not too long. Having keywords in the domain name is a good idea (it may help search engine rankings), but it is not necessary. In order to make your domain name easy to remember, try to get a .com extension. If you have a domain name that ends in .net, .biz or any other extension, chances are people will forget and try .com. In this case, you will be generating traffic for your competitor’s website. Exceptions are government, educational or non profit websites which should end in .gov, .edu or .org respectively.

2 – Reliable Hosting
Many businesses creating their first website are tempted to go with free website hosting services. This is usually a bad idea. Free services typically mean more downtime (if the host’s servers are down, so is your website), slower page loads for visitors, less features, and little to no customer service and tech support. Reliable website hosting with good customer service and many features can cost as little as $10 per month. We strongly recommend the hosting services provided by NewWebsite.com. The quality of your web hosting service can impact the experience your visitors have at your website. A poor experience may keep them from coming back.

3 – Email Address at Your Own Domain
Using a free email address (Yahoo, Hotmail, Juno, etc.) can present an unprofessional image for your business. Your website hosting company will provide you with email addresses at your domain. The number of addresses allowed will vary by the hosting company and by the package that you choose. Make sure that you select a plan that provides enough email addresses for your needs.

4 – Affordable Website Design
Your website will create the first impression of your business for many potential customers. The appearance of your site will be a significant factor in determining whether that first impression is positive or negative. A well-designed website can add instant credibility to your business in the eyes of your prospective customers. However, the appearance should not overpower or distract from the content and the message of the website.

5 – Simple Navigation
Your visitors should have no problems navigating through your website to find what they are looking for. A good rule of thumb is that every page should be accessible in two clicks or less from your homepage. On larger websites this may not always be possible, but keep in mind that requiring more clicks to get to a page will mean less visitors. Pages should be grouped logically, and the destination of a link should be clear. Efforts should be made to avoid dead links.

6 – An Easy Way for Your Visitors to Contact You

Most websites accomplish this by having a page with a simple feedback form (like ours) that will be submitted by email. At the very least your email address should be listed for your visitors to contact you. The contact form can be easier for your visitors since it doesn’t involve opening an email program.

7 – A Website that is Easily Indexed by Search Engines
The basic design of a website can play a significant role in determining search engine rankings. By following certain basic guidelines you can create a site that makes the search engine’s job easier.


Properly coded XHTML is the first step. Use of the following tags will increase the ease the ease with which search engines can determine the subject of your website: title, keywords (meta), description (meta), headings, and alt tags (for images).

Excessive use of Flash and JavaScript can prevent search engines from getting to the content of your site. Using CSS-based design allows the search engines to find the content faster and easier. CSS-based design uses code that is much less cluttered. For a full explanation of the benefits of CSS-based design, please see our article “Why Use CSS-Based Design?”.

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6 Responses

Comments are now closed on this post.

  • Music-Band, August 5, 2007

    Hey

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  • 4design, November 11, 2009

    I agree with all points. Question: Will the continuation of this article?

  • Stuart, March 6, 2011

    Number 1 – own domain name is a must, I also find it important to use email addresses from your own domain to.

  • Kevin, October 26, 2011

    I agree with Stuart.

    having you own domain name sets you apart from the blogpot and wordpress.com users that don’t make use of the domain function.